Mike Soroka; Kyle Wright; Ian Anderson; Touki Toussaint; Bryse Wilson; Those are the five Braves’ pitching prospects that made the MLB Pipeline Top 100 list. Left-hander, Kyle Muller did not make that list, and that might be what’s motivating him as his 2019 season begins.
The 6’6″, 230-pound southpaw has slid under the radar amongst the Braves embarrassment of riches at the minor league level. He was drafted out of high school in the second round of the 2016 draft and began 2018 in Rome. It only took him six starts to earn the promotion to the A+ Florida Fire Frogs, and by the end of the year, he was in AA Mississippi. Muller never flinched at any level, going a combined 11-3 with a 3.04 ERA, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that he was lights out in his four appearances during spring training, striking out seven in 4.2 innings.
Since coming out of high school, Muller has been able to transform that size into meaningful miles on his fastball, becoming a player who lives in the mid-90s but can dial it up to 100 when he wants to. He backs that up with a slider, which is his go-to strikeout pitch, a high-level changeup, and a curveball.
Both Freddie Freeman and Brian Snitker commented on Muller’s size and how impressive it has been to be around him in spring training. He won’t begin the season in Atlanta, but he gave the coaches and the fan base a sense of hope that he could be around at some point in 2019, either as a starter or out of the bullpen.
Muller spent time in the Arizona Fall League last season, where they opted to use him as a reliever. In seven appearances (10.2 innings), he allowed three earned runs (2.53 ERA) while striking out 15. The Braves currently have an overload of arms – both in the rotation and in the bullpen – but the situation is extremely fluid. Muller turned the heads of everybody in the organization, and if he continues to stay hot in the minors, Atlanta is not going to hesitate to give him an opportunity – just like they did with the majority of their young arms in 2018.